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      Treatment of early diagnosed HCV infection in hemodialyzed patients with interferon-alpha. Treatment of hepatitis C.

      Blood purification

      Safety, Adult, Renal Dialysis, Recombinant Proteins, blood, RNA, Viral, Middle Aged, Male, administration & dosage, Interferon-alpha, Humans, etiology, drug therapy, diagnosis, Hepatitis C, Chronic, Hepacivirus, Female, Early Diagnosis, Antiviral Agents

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          Acute and early diagnosed hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are rare diagnoses. Patients on regular dialysis treatment (RDT) are at risk of acquiring HCV infection. (1) To determine the efficacy and safety of two-phase induction treatment of acute and early diagnosed HCV infections in patients on RDT, and (2) to establish the importance of serum HCV RNA testing at defined time points of treatment for the prediction of the therapeutic effect. THERAPEUTIC PROTOCOL: Antiviral treatment consisted of two different phases: phase A therapy was interferon (IFN)-alpha 2b 10 million units (MU) s.c. administered daily for 21 days followed by phase B with IFN-alpha 2b 3 MU s.c. administered 3 times weekly for 12 weeks. (1) Efficacy of the treatment: A sustained virological response (SVR) was achieved in a total of 13/18 patients (72%). We did not observe any serious side effects of the treatment. The most pronounced side effect was the myelosuppression caused by IFN-alpha. (2) SVR prediction: Patients with negative serum HCV RNA at day 6 achieve SVR more frequently than those with positive HCV RNA at day 6 (p = 0.074). Treatment of acute and early diagnosed HCV infections in hemodialyzed patients is much more effective than treatment of chronic infection. Even relatively high doses of IFN at the beginning of therapy (10 MU daily) are tolerated well by the patients.

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